Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Over the past 3 years or so, every time Steve Jobs has sneezed, we in the media have written about it. While he may wonder why that is, the share holders have no doubts as to why. Today they got just proof in the pudding that Apple, Inc. without Steve Jobs is worth less. but that is getting ahead of ourselves.
On January 5th he released one letter due to the fact that, just after announcing that Phil Schiller would deliver the MacWorld Expo keynote, the mainstream media went nuts saying Steve Jobs was dying or dead. Thus he wrote then:
Dear Apple Community,
For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.
Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.
I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.
As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.
Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.
The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.
I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.
So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.
But now on the 14th of January, less than 10 days after Steve announced to the world, a new letter to Apple employees circulated announcing a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.
While many are not particularly worried and he may not be terribly worried, the share holders obviously are and the stock plunged more than 8% in trading and had to be halted. This fall was not a calculation that Apple, Inc.'s demise is at hand or that Steve may die soon, but more of a statement that the share holders have no faith in those others who run Apple, Inc. on a day to day basis.
This lack of faith does not come without merit either as the past history of the company has shown that the only one who seems to be capable of running the company in an up direction is Steve Jobs, in spite of his now apparent human flaws.
For those who want to write off the company, dont count on it happening this month or even during the medical leave. Steve has built quite the juggernaut in Apple, Inc. and it will surely survive with or without Steve Jobs. After all, Microsoft has survived without Bill Gates so far, so why not Apple, Inc.?